The Green Bay Packers made it clear in the first round that they were going to take an aggressive approach to the 2018 NFL Draft. Trading back and acquiring a 2018 first round pick from the New Orleans Saints and still getting cornerback Jaire Alexander was a huge first move for new general manager Brian Gutekunst.
Getting Alexander was huge for the Packers, but they were also able to get the steal of the draft in the second round with the No. 45 overall pick.
As the Packers’ official website noted, the Packers were able to take Iowa cornerback Josh Jackson with the No. 45 pick. Jackson was projected to be an early first round pick, but slid in the draft. Being able to take a top-15 talent in the second round was huge for the Packers’ defense.
Jackson put together a huge 2017 college season for the Iowa Hawkeyes, leading the nation in interceptions. He ended the season with 48 total tackles to go along with eight interceptions, two defensive touchdowns, and 18 defended passes. In addition to those numbers, Jackson also forced a fumble.
Mike Pettine is the new defensive coordinator in Green Bay and should be ecstatic about bringing in a playmaker like Jackson. Last season, the Packers’ secondary was one of their main weaknesses. Now, the Packers will have talents like Kevin King, Alexander, and Jackson patrolling the defensive backfield.
After being selected, Jackson was asked about being taken by the Packers.
“I just want to thank them so much for believing in me. I’m going to give them everything I got. I’m so excited I can’t wait to get on the field and play football. They’re getting a baller. Playmaker.”
Those words are all Packers’ fans needed to hear to get excited about this pick. For those that didn’t know about Jackson heading into the draft, they now have heard from the man himself what they should expect.
If you haven’t seen Jackson play yet, here are a few of his highlights from the 2017 season at Iowa.
Expect to see Jackson make an immediate impact for the Packers in 2018. He is going to push for a starting job immediately, although he will likely have to find his playing time behind King, Alexander, and veteran cornerback Tramon Williams.
While he may not start, Jackson is going to see playing time and Pettine will ask him to focus on making plays in the secondary like he has done throughout his entire career to this point.